Skip to content


Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

May 21, 1860, Woodlawn Race Course Association, also known as “Saratoga of the West,” held their 1st day of racing in Louisville, a track of significant importance during the 1860s.  Organized competitive horse racing in Kentucky was relatively young when they opened.  Woodlawn would close ten years later.

Kentucky Trivia:  A surviving remnant of the Woodlawn Race Course is their trophy, the Woodlawn Vase, the most valuable trophy in sports.  Kentuckian Robert Atchison Alexander commissioned Tiffany and Company to craft the trophy, first presented at Woodlawn in 1861.  It now serves as the model for half-size replicas given to the annual winner of the Preakness Stakes.

May 21, 1861, Bourbon County native Thomas Corwin became the U.S. Minister to Mexico.  This was just one position in an illustrious career.

May 21, 1862, Newport native William H. Horsfall earned the Medal of Honor for saving the life of a wounded officer during the Siege of Corinth in Mississippi.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Shelbyville native and 38th governor (1915-19) Augustus Owsley Stanley, born in 1867.  U.S. Congressman Stanley drove the U.S. Supreme Court to break up the American Tobacco Company’s monopoly in 1911.  Next, he tackled the steel monopolies, gaining national fame.

Tuesday, May 21, 1878, around 6,000 people watched Day Star win the 4th Kentucky Derby against eight rivals going 1 ½ mile in 2:37 ¼, on a dusty track, to set a Derby record.  The winning connections included owner Thomas J. Nichols from Bourbon County, trainer Lee Paul and jockey Jimmy Carter to win $2,970.  John Clay, the son of statesman Henry Clay, bred Day Star.

May 21, 1897, Deputy Sheriff Joseph Patterson, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, died after arresting a man wanted as a witness during the current term of the circuit court.

May 21, 1900, the U.S. Supreme Court announced their decision in favor of Governor Beckham, ending Kentucky’s greatest controversy.  Governor Beckham would later win a special election held the following November.
That Kentucky Campaign: Or, The Law, the Ballot and the People in the Goebel-Taylor Contest by R.E. Hughes, F.W. Schaefer and E.L. Williams

May 21, 1906, Special Deputy Sheriff Ward Pentz, Jessamine County Sheriff’s Department, died from an accidental gun shot when his revolver fell from the buggy he was riding in and discharged, striking him in the stomach.

May 21, 1914, the gelding Holiday won the 39th Preakness Stakes.  Six entered the 1 1/8 mile contest for the $1,500 purse.  The Derby ran 11 days earlier.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Paducah native Clarence Edward “Big House” Gaines Sr., born in 1923.

May 21, 1927, Deputy Sheriff Moss J. Metcalf, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot while attempting to break up a disturbance in front of a store near the Wilson-Berger Mine.

May 21, 1966, Muhammad Ali (24-0) fought Henry Cooper (33-11-1) in the Arsenal Football Stadium, London.  After the controversial first fight, the 2nd was for the world title, but it was fairly anticlimactic.  Cooper, who suffered from even minor cuts, succumbed again to his weakness, and a nasty cut over his left eye stopped the fight after six rounds.

May 21, 1967, Army SP5 William P. Centers Jr. from Lexington died in the Vietnam War.

May 21, 1969, Army PFC Harry D. Ashcroft from Richmond and Army SGT Clarence Sizemore from Manchester in Clay County died in the Vietnam War.

May 21, 1971, Army SP5 Billy J. Jones from Tateville in Pulaski County died in the Vietnam War.

May 21, 1977, Seattle Slew won the 102nd Preakness Stakes.

May 21, 1983, Suffolk Downs aired its 1st simulcast race after the Massachusetts General Court passed a last-minute bill that allowed a track to air and accept bets on races from other tracks.

May 21, 1983, Deputed Testamony won the 108th Preakness Stakes going the 1 3/16 mile in 1:55 2/5 on a sloppy track to win $251,200.

May 21, 1992, H. Ross Perot, an undeclared, independent candidate for U.S. President, stumped in Frankfort days before Kentucky’s primary.

May 21, 2000, twenty-two years after winning the Triple Crown and as a retired jockey, Steve Cauthen rode in a High Hope Steeplechase race at the Kentucky Horse Park.  His daughter wanted to see him ride for the 1st time.

May 21, 2002, Kentucky received failing grades for dealing with mentally disabled citizens.  We had the highest per person cost of an eight-state region.  The population also had a higher risk of abuse.  Meanwhile, three Louisville families accused a Lexington Catholic priest of sexual abuse while he worked in Louisville.

May 21, 2004, the state fired/retired/resigned 23 transportation employees for using state computers to look at pornography.

May 21, 2006, Barbaro underwent surgery on his rind right leg in Pennsylvania one day after the Preakness.  Dr. Richardson, the chief surgeon, gave the operation a 50-50 chance of success.  Barbaro died eight months and eight days later.

May 21, 2013, Rhonda Monroe, Richie Farmer’s sister, resigned as an assistant executive director of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.  The state placed her on paid leave March 19, a day after she and her brother received multiple ethics violations.

May 21, 2016, Frankfort released financial information on their lobbyist.  Nearly 700 corporations registered in Kentucky must submit precisely how much they pay their employees.  Bob Babbage, in four months, earned $324,754 working for 30 clients.  Sean Cutter made $281,792 working for 52 clients.  The list is long.

May 21, 2016, Exaggerator won the 141st Preakness Stakes ending Nyquist’s Triple Crown bid.  The Desormeaux brothers rode and trained the colt to go 1:58.31 on a sloppy track.  The pari-mutuel take of $94,127,434 broke the previous record of $91,028,000 in 2005.

May 21, 2020, Governor A. Beshear claimed Kentucky “is moving in the right direction.”  The virus seemed to have plateaued as more businesses opened.  The virus had killed 386 Kentuckians.

May 21, 2020, the Trump administration and AstraZeneca announced a collaboration to speed development of a COVID-19 vaccine called AZD1222; “Phase 3” clinical studies began in the summer.

May 21, 2021, Fayette County officials recommended 523 students from elementary to high school repeat their grade due to virus restrictions.  Meanwhile Kentucky and California clashed over a Kentucky LGBTQ law.